India at the heart of global supply chain and logistics transformation: Nitin Gadkari

Industry leaders and experts recently gathered at the Supply Chain Management & Logistics Summit 2023 and highlighted India’s remarkable journey to transforming its trading landscape and becoming a world leader.

With a focus on strategic initiatives and advances in supply chain management, logistics and maritime infrastructure, the event, organized by ET Edge, provided an insightful platform for dialogue and collaboration.

The Summit featured high profile speakers who addressed key issues shaping India’s trading ecosystem. Discussions highlighted the importance of having world-class port infrastructure and implementing smart ports in improving business efficiency. Speakers emphasized the need to reduce logistics costs and enable multi-modal shifts to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of Indian supply chains.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Roads and Highways of the Government of India, said in his keynote address: “In order for India to achieve the Prime Minister’s dream of a $5 trillion economy, our exports must increase and imports reduce.” Supply Chain Management and logistics play a major role in this change. Our goal is to reduce logistics costs from the current 14 to 16% to 9% by the end of 2024. Good roads, alternative fuels and increased use of waterways are important factors that should make this possible. I call on the industry to use the waterways developed in the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and use the route to reach northeastern states as all protocols and agreements with our neighbors have been signed. There are 40 river ports and 4 multimodal ports on the Ganges route alone. The world wants to buy from us and we can make our exports competitive by using efficient logistics management.”

Sanjeev Ranjan, Chairman of the National Shipping Board, provided valuable insight into the Sagarmala project, an ambitious endeavor to rejuvenate seaports for economic development. His presentation highlighted the project’s potential to enhance India’s trade capabilities and strengthen its position in the global supply chain ecosystem.

The summit featured exciting discussions on a variety of key issues including self-reliance in shipbuilding, repair and recycling, reforming shipping policy and institutional frameworks, establishing India as a world-class maritime research, education and training center, and promotion of waterways sustainable transport routes.

During the event, Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal expressed optimism about India’s future in global supply chain management. He highlighted the significant progress made by Indian ports, which exceeded the average container dwell times of the United States and Germany. Sonowal also underscored India’s commitment to green shipping through the implementation of the National Clean Shipping Action Plan.

The summit also addressed the importance of institutional, regulatory and legislative reforms in streamlining trade processes and creating an enabling business environment. It also explored the potential of waterways as efficient transport corridors, with a focus on reducing emissions and significant improvements in turnaround time. The discussions stressed the need for a multimodal shift towards waterways, including the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers and other navigable waterways. Such shifts shorten transport times and reduce the carbon footprint compared to traditional road-based transport systems.

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